Tonight we finally got to deck the halls. The kids were so excited and we were putting the tree together, listening to some Christmas tunes and the entire time my little preacher man, Noah, is telling L all about the real meaning of Christmas and how it's not about Santa but about the baby Jesus and how much God loves us that He sent His Son. He is the sweetest. boy. ever.
The originals were making sure P and L had just as many ornaments to hang and teaching them how to do it. This was their first Christmas tree. I was taking pictures and rearranging ornaments that were three to a branch and it just hit me. Somewhere between Jingle Bells and White Christmas, this wave of sadness hit. I was looking at my familiy and it occured to me that it may not look like this next year. These two precious children may not be with us. I had to excuse myself to go cry in the bathroom and then it was hard to stop -- so the tears would just fall throughout the evening.
I was so proud of Grace, Noah and Ava and how they shared their special ornaments and how excited they were for L and P. In our home, it is a big deal each year whose turn it is to put the angel on the top of the tree. It is a guaranteed kodak moment and gets lots of applause. As we were approaching that coveted time, the kids started asking whose turn it was and they said that it should be P or L's turn since they've never done it before. I couldn't believe how willing they were to share that with them.... and I couldn't believe how sad it made me feel. I know this will sound completely irrational and it may very well be but I just couldn't do it. There was something inside of me that thought if I have a picture of these two putting the angel on this tree and then I lose them....I could never survive it. There was a part of me that wants to wait until it's official to celebrate their first topping of the tree. It was such a profound and strange reaction that I'm still not sure what to make of it. I of course didn't say any of that outloud and instead just said I thought it was Ava's turn and nobody thought a thing about it. Gracie just said that next year it will be L and P's turn then and I said that would be great. That would be great. Next year....
So I've pretty much been a weepy mess since then. I cried on the way to the grocery store. Tried to tell my sister about it on the phone and cried some more. Cried on the way home from the grocery store and sit here now crying. I would not change a single moment of the last six months but I would give so much to know what the next six will hold.
I asked L if he ever had a tree before and he said no. He said he didn't have any ornaments and I told him that we all share all the ones in the box and they are his now too. He looked so proud. I told hiim how blessed we were to have them with us this year and how special it is going to be, our fist Christmas together....our first. I am not going to worry if it is the last. We showed them their stockings and put up the nativity and I could still here my little Noah's words. This is what Christmas is all about....the baby Jesus. If God can love us enough to send us His son than surely I can do this. I can do this. I am trying with all my might to enjoy every moment I have with my family of 7. I am trying not to worry about what the future holds for us. I am just trying to trust that we are right where God needs us right now and He will take care of the rest. I am trying to see the beauty of it through the tears.
Hoping with all hope that next year P and L will be putting the angel on the top of the tree but being at peace knowing that this year they will certainly know the real meaning of Christmas and remember it was preached to them by a 6 year old boy they called brother, remembering it was shown to them by a community of believers. I will be at peace knowing that this year they are loved and safe and wanted. I will be at peace knowing that I have given everything in this situation that I know to give. I will be at peace knowing that all the children that call me mom will forever remember this Christmas and the true gift we were able to be a part of... and I pray it forever shapes their lives.
The tears will still come I'm sure. But it's not about me. It's about the baby Jesus. Thank you, my sweet Noah